Can you write a masterpiece of a QA software tester resume that will turn into an interview call?
Read on to know how.
I'm sure after reading this article you will be able to write a killer flawless software testing and quality assurance resume that will definitely turn into an interview call. We have also included ‘5 minutes resume makeover tips' in the end.
This is two-part series:
Part 1: How to Write a Killer QA Software Tester Resume (this article)
Part 2: Steps to write a resume with Sample QA Testing Resume for download
What You Will Learn:
- Writing a Killer Software Testing Resume or CV
- How Much Time Do You Get to Impress Employer?
- How to Make a Great First Impression?
- How to write project details in tester/QA resume?
- “What should I put in resumes if I have a gap in my career?”
- On-the-job-accomplishments on the first page of your resume
- Mention relevant modules/subjects you studied
- Software testing certifications and training
- How to learn software testing skills to put on the resume?
- Sample Software Testing Resume Essential Parts
- Tips for Writing Effective Software Testing Resume
- New Emerging Trends in the Job Seeking Market – Shorter Resumes
- 5 Refining Tips for A Ninja Resume – 5 Minute Resume Makeover
Writing a Killer Software Testing Resume or CV
Your resume is the very first step in any job application process. It's an opportunity to advertise yourself and demonstrate that you are the best person for the available position. Getting an interview call depends on how you present your skills in your resume or CV.
How Much Time Do You Get to Impress Employer?
Software testing market is becoming very competitive and getting the job is even more difficult. For a single QA job position, recruiters are getting hundreds of quality assurance tester resumes.
You must stand out from the crowd and write a good resume is the very first opportunity to do so. Recruiters don't have time to read all the resumes thoroughly. Your resume will be quickly scanned within few seconds.
Do you know that employer spend only 20 to 30 seconds to review your resume? To get it noticed in such a short time frame your resume must be appealing, organized, and error free.
Does that make sense? To make a first good impression on the prospective employer you must represent yourself effectively on the first page of your resume, rather the first half page of your resume is very important to make or break it.
I see so many candidates pay very little or no attention to writing a good resume. They just copy and paste others resume without even bothering to change the interests and hobbies. Remember, no matter how talented you are, if you don't present your skills properly in the resume, no one is going to see your talent.
How to Make a Great First Impression?
Many candidates write the whole story about themselves without thinking what employer's want. First focus on employer's need. Read the job openings carefully. Note down all the job requirements. Judge yourself based on these requirements. Prepare the list of your skills matching with job requirement and highlight these skill on the first page of your resume.
How to Maximize Your Chances of Getting an Interview Call?
Make sure you have a clearly stated job objective mentioned on top of your resume. Keep it short one or two lines and avoid writing irrelevant cliches. Freshers always need to keep different versions for different jobs. E.g.: If you are applying for software testing position highlight software testing skills at a prominent place in your CV.
Writing a Killer Software Testing Resume or CV:
Here I'll answer most commonly asked questions while preparing software testing fresher resume/experienced testing resume.
What if you don't have software testing experience?
If you are an experienced software tester then you shouldn't have any problem writing your project details.
How can freshers looking for software testing job get relevant experience?
#1) The answer is simple. Get some experience by working on dummy projects available on the internet. Search for online dummy projects (e.g. Inventory management software) and download test software and all available documents. Follow complete testing process like:
- requirement analysis,
- writing test cases,
- executing test cases,
- logging defects and,
- preparing test reports
If possible get your work evaluated by experienced software testing professionals.
#2) By adding dummy projects learned from software testing courses:
If you have joined any software testing course to learn manual testing and automation tools then you can put this dummy project experience in your resume, which may range from 1 to 6 months. This way you will have at least some experience to put in your resume rather than keeping the experience section entirely blank. This will be an added advantage from other freshers resumes.
How to write project details in tester/QA resume?
In the job, experience section writes details of projects you worked on. Write project details with following headings:
- Project name:
- (Optional) Client name:
- Project description: (Brief project overview in 2-3 sentences)
- Environment: (mention software coding language, testing tools etc.)
- Team size:
- On job accomplishments: (mention all key responsibilities)
“What should I put in resumes if I have a gap in my career?”
Don't hesitate to put the valid reason for any gap in your career. Also, you shouldn't have any problem getting a job after the gap in your career. There could be thousands of reasons for career gap like – enjoying holiday, relocation, handling family business, skill upgrade, maternity etc. Be honest and I'm sure you will easily convince interviewer about your career gap.
On-the-job-accomplishments on the first page of your resume
Convince employer that you have problem-solving skill by giving some real time examples from your work experience. Clearly, state what was the problem and how you solved that problem at a workplace. Prepare some solid examples to support your claims. You can put these examples in your resume also. Also be ready to answer all relevant questions asked by the interviewer for your accomplishments. E.g: “When I joined so and so the project in my company I saw the work was ad-hock and there wasn't any standard software testing process. I took initiative building a standard software testing process that fits our project needs. By this streamlined process, we managed our time effectively and started concentrating more on main software testing tasks”.
Mention relevant modules/subjects you studied
This will matter most for freshers. For software testing positions candidates having computer networking and system administration skills are preferred. If you studied any subject or completed any course related to computer networking and system administration then add it to your resume. If you have Linux/Unix operating system knowledge then put it in a relevant-skills section of your resume.
Software testing certifications and training
Software testing certification is an added advantage for all testing and QA positions. Rather, testing certifications like ISTQB, CSTE etc. are mandatory criteria for most of the companies. Always keep learning and equip yourself with necessary tools and skills so that you will never face any job problem in future. If you have completed any software testing course or diploma after your graduation or post graduation then put it under “Skill Upgrade” section of your resume.
How to learn software testing skills to put on the resume?
IF you don't have necessary relevant skills to add to your resume then learn those skills online. Like for software testing, jobs learn defect tracking and test management tools. You can get all open source software testing tools online. Download widely used open source tools and start practicing at home.
#1) Learn TestLink test management tool online: TestLink online
You can practice everything on above demo TestLink page. Once you get good hands on experience on TestLink tool you can put this skill in your resume.
#2) Search for an online version of Bugzilla defect management tool or download and install Bugzilla defect management tool on your home PC. Learn how to add and manage defects in Bugzilla. Once you get the basic knowledge of this tool you can add this tool to “Defect management tools” skill section.
This way you can learn many automation tools online.
Sample Software Testing Resume Essential Parts
- Personal details (Name, email, and contact) at the top
- Career objective – not more than two lines
- Educational qualification – in reverse chronological order (Latest education first)
- Skill upgrade details – like testing certifications, training, computer networking and System administration skills
- Work experience – in detail for each employer and project
- Interests and significant achievements
- Additional personal information like marital status, Passport details etc not more than 3 details.
Tips for Writing Effective Software Testing Resume
Software testing resume format tips:
1) Keep CV brief but comprehensive in expression
2) Keep in mind – Single spelling error is sufficient to reject your resume. Spell check for twice.
3) CV should be easily readable
4) Make a clear job objective
5) Highlight relevant skills
6) Do not put fake experience or skills
7) Focus on what employer's need and prepare your resume with relevant skills you possess.
8 ) Always think from employer's perspective. Think what recruiter will expect from the job position.
9) Avoid table structure. Use tables to mention your qualification and skills only.
10) Do not write resume more than 3 pages unless you are applying for the team lead or managerial positions.
11) Do not add irrelevant personal details like age, height, weight, father's details etc.
12) No need to write ‘Curriculum Vitae' or ‘Resume' word at the top of your resume.
13) Do not use the word “I” while describing project responsibilities. E.g: Instead of “I wrote test cases..” use “Wrote test cases.)
14) Make sure you write your name, email address and phone number on top of the resume.
15) While writing education always start with recent education first.
16) Write qualification details with columns – Education/Qualification, School/College, Year, Percentage/Grade, Class
17) Write relevant skills and on-job-accomplishments on the first page of your resume and work experience, educational details on the second page.
Most important – Be ready to explain everything you put on your resume. On request, you must present necessary examples to the interviewer.
Only writing a good resume is not sufficient. Before applying for software testing jobs you need to write an effective software testing job cover letter as well.
New Emerging Trends in the Job Seeking Market – Shorter Resumes
The world of resume and interviews is changing- constantly.
Being in the training and facilitation industry gives us a special insight into this field as we are blessed with students that take the time to keep us posted on their career pursuits and the interviews that they have attended; our heartfelt gratitude to you all always for sharing.
In this article, I will try to consolidate all the trends I have come across, so we can share all that was shared with us by the readers.
First things first: This is a great time of the year for the job market. Post holidays, New Year and new possibilities. So, I have especially had a huge influx of resumes coming to my way and requests for interview guidance.
Unfortunately, some of the requests are to proxy an interview. For those who don’t know what this is: It is to pretend to be someone else and appear to the interview as the interviewee. While this might have short-term results, please bear in mind that companies (especially in the US) have a 30 day probation period. So, a successful interview might not necessarily mean a successful job. “A shortcut is often a wrong cut”- may not be applicable in all situations but in this one, it absolutely does.
Now that we have moved past that, we will examine 3 main trends that are gaining momentum.
#1. Shorter 1 or 2 page resumes
#2. Skype or video-based interviews
#3. Presentation based interviews
If you would like to have a refresher on resume creation, please check this post:
=> How to write a perfect Software Testing resume – Sample QA resume
Few tips to add to the above article are:
- Take complete control over your resume: Don’t let a resume creation company, family member or a friend take this over for you.
- No mistakes: spelling, grammar, hyphenation, margins, alignment, etc.
- No False information: This is where I am going to hear all of you sigh and say “how is that even possible”- but trust me. When you create a resume that focuses on your skills and strengths, there is really no need for any false information to be included.
- No confidential information about your previous clients, companies or projects
The current market is really leaning towards shorter resumes than the full versions. 1 or 2 page resumes even for the most experienced ones are preferred. Include the following information in your resume:
- Objective (optional)
- Professional summary
- Consolidation of your technical skills
Take a look at the shorter QA resume sample
Title (E.g.: Quality Engineer/QA Tester/Manager)
Certifications: (if any)
Contact info: phone, email, address
LinkedIn or other website/blog link (if any)
Objective: To excel in a challenging and innovative QA work environment and strive to exercise my full potential (OR) to make a smooth and successful transition into IT- QA post my thorough preparation and internship (OR) (something to that effect. This can be totally optional as well)
Professional summary: (This is not very different from the traditional resume- some examples can be as below)
- Well versed with SDLC – Agile, Scrum methodologies
- Underwent 100 hours of professional training in the Software testing processes
- ISTQB or something else certified
- Good understanding of the STLC process – Test case documentation, review
- Familiarizing with Automation testing using QTP
- Involved in testing during the system testing or UAT phases
- Expertise in test management using QC or JIRA
- Defect management using Bugzilla
- Certified Software Test Engineer by the QAI in the year 2014.
- Received the “Pat on back” excellence award for my contribution towards “XYZ” project
- B.Tech computer science engineer by education, 2010 graduation year
- Implemented a new framework in QTP
Examples could be:
Tools: HP UFT, HP ALM – Administration and User, VersionOne-Agile Management software, Atlassian JIRA
Environments: UNIX, Windows, Mac, Mobile- IOS
Programming languages: Java, VBScript
SQL and PL/SQL
This is where this kind of a resume differs largely from the existing type. Here is my take on the subject – project description part can be eliminated. In fact, companies prefer it that way, because it shows integrity to not talk about how other clients have implemented a certain system and to instead on your tasks and work highlights. As always, start with your most recent project and keep going backward.
#1. OpenEMR, hospital management system for XYZ hospitals- Nov 2013 to Dec 2014- Quality Engineer
This is 3 tiered system and we have successfully implemented an end to end testing system that pays special emphasis on release targeted testing and ample regression as well. The team structure was onsite-offshore and agile processes were managed by leveraging VersionOne as the management software.
As you can see above, this is hardly a page and for someone with many projects, this could go up to another page more, which makes it 2 pages at the most.
Simple Resume Tips
Tip #1. It is believed that an employer does not spend more than 20-30 seconds on a resume. So be sure to take your time with your resume and write the professional summary in a way that your prospective employer is compelled to persuade you.
Tip #2. You do not have to discard your longer resume version when you have the shorter one, not yet at least. There are still some employers who prefer longer ones. Keep both of them handy.
Tip #3. With limited area, it is common to feel tempted to pile on as much as we can onto that one/two pages we have. But that is often counterproductive. Therefore, if you have lots more to say than you can in the 2 pages, take a look at what can stay and what can go – prioritize, purge and reorder. Let the resume have some wiggle room.
Tip #4. When choosing a font, non sans serif ones are the best. Arial, Tahoma, Verdana, Calibri are some of the good choices. Make sure the text is no smaller than 9.5 size and headings 11 or 11.5
For best results, these tips are to be combined with the ones above.
Also Read =>
- Onsite tester + coordinator position job interview questions and answers.
- How to prepare for S/w testing interview
- Common interview mistakes and how to avoid them
5 Refining Tips for A Ninja Resume – 5 Minute Resume Makeover
This section of the article is about refining your resume so it finds you your dream job.
Here are a few guidelines that will make your resume stand out from the crowd:
5 Quick Tips to Refine Your Resume:
#1) Less is more
There is no need to write pages and pages about your projects, your experience, your achievements etc. Please note that no one gets hired based on the resume. It is to summarize you professionally and based on it, you will get called for an interview where you will have your chance to explain it all.
Here are some things you can avoid, to keep your resume short and relevant:
This section is unnecessary because the objective of any job applicant is to get the job. So writing that one more time is irrelevant and redundant. However, if you are from a different field of work and are transitioning into the current role then you can use this section.
For many beginner testers, this is true. You might have been working in a completely unrelated field. You have decided to pursue an IT QA career.
Many of our STH students definitely are in this situation and I am often asked to give examples of what they could write in this section.
Point #1: You don’t have to absolutely write this section. So, if you are not comfortable explaining, give it a miss.
Point #2: If you have decided to write it, remember, there are no wrong reasons only wrong ways of expressing those reasons.
Let me give you an example.
One of the students asked me- “I am in this for money. I like troubleshooting and since testing allows it and pays good money, I am willing to try QA. How do I say this to the employer without sounding like a gold-digger?”
Find the right words. Your objective, in this case, can be– “To find a challenging QA position that puts my troubleshooting skills to good use and supports me better, financially.”
Finally, one or two lines are all you get. Don’t go overboard.
ii) Previous Work Experience:
If you have worked in unrelated fields, your resume need not have that information because it is irrelevant to the current position.
iii) Project Information:
Try not to include in-depth details about the application’s architecture or strategy. This will be a red-flag as companies view it as ‘giving away confidential information’ which boils down to lack of integrity on your (the applicant’s) part.
#2) Full disclosure is not necessary
A lot of times I get questions such as – Do I have to mention my educational qualification? Do I include the year of my graduation or my major in college or my percentage in high school?
Resumes are about putting your best foot forward and if there is something you don’t want to bring attention to- Don’t write it.
Are you thinking, isn’t it lying? No, it isn’t.
We have a little time to make an impression on the hiring person and we want our achievements to back us up. The rest doesn’t matter.
- Education or degree – If not from a computer science background and if you believe it might work against you- keep it at the end or remove this section altogether
- No need to mention High school, college or any other education’s percentages or GPAs – it is irrelevant unless you are a fresher and applying strictly based on your score.
- Currently employed? No need to give the landline office number in an attempt to prove that you do indeed work where you say you do. This is dangerous and a little silly too.
- Year of Graduation: If you suspect ageism, don’t mention it.
#3) Don’t get Personal
- Marital status, the number of kids you have, your birth date, fathers name on the separate line, religion, passport number, etc. – not necessary.
- Also, do not include Instagram or Facebook links on your resume. LinkedIn or professional blogs will do.
#4) Be Professional
- Get a new email address if your email is something like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org It is totally free and takes a few minutes to set up.
- Do not include references in your resume. Provide them when asked. Because it might be a good idea to give some advance notice to your references that they should expect a call. Let your references know and ask them their convenient time.
- Most importantly, don’t lie on your resume. It is true we all tweak our resumes when applying for different positions. This should be limited to highlighting a few important details as opposed to concocting completely fictitious experiences or skills.
- Apply for a job if your skill set is a 70-80% match to those needed for the job.
- For the rest, let your potential and capability speak for itself.
#5) Get your basics right
- No spelling and grammar errors: It is hard to take a document serious when it has basic errors. Especially, when it is so easy to do spelling and grammar checks. It communicates neglect.
- If you are not sure about the usage of a sentence, don’t use it. Try alternatives. For example: Someone once told me “Having 3 years of experience” is not right because ‘having’ is a word more applicable to ‘eating’. Being a non-native English speaker, I don’t know if this is true. So I rephrase that statement always to “3 years experience in QC.” Better safe than sorry, right?
- Don’t cram too much stuff into your resume. Keep it readable. Make sure there is plenty of white space so the person reading it can skim through it easily and still stay engaged.
- Font: Don’t use curly or any other illegible fonts. Also, keep the size right- don’t go too small or too big. Resume experts recommend using a sans-serif font such as Tahoma, Verdana, etc.
Hope I've detailed each and every aspect of writing a killer software testing resume. Now you should not face any difficulties writing an effective software testing CV.
That brings us to an end of the first in the career series – How to prepare a killer QA Software tester resume.
As always, we strive for a useful, helpful and an enjoyable reading experience. Please let us know how we did in the comments. You are most welcome to post your questions as well.
Lastly, our very best wishes to all the job seekers out there – All the very best!